Saturday, July 24, 2004

U.S.: Easy to get in, hell to pay to get out

Call it the state protecting that 'weak sistah,' Islam.

KUALA LUMPUR - Four Malaysians who renounced Islam lost an appeal in the nation's top court where they had sought a declaration that they have freedom to practise the faith of their choice, their lawyer said yesterday.

'The Federal Court this morning dismissed the appeal after taking nine months to deliberate the matter,' said Mr Ang Hean Leng.

Mr Daud Mamat, 62, Ms Kamariah Ali, 51, her late husband Mohamad Ya and Mr Mad Yacob Ismail, 62, who served 20 months in jail for 'deviant practices inconsistent with Islamic teachings', renounced Islam in 1998.

They were charged with contempt of the Syariah court for refusing to attend repentance classes which were part of the earlier sentence and were jailed for another three years in 2000.

They took their case to the Appeal Court, arguing that as they were no longer Muslims, the Syariah court had no jurisdiction over them.

That appeal was dismissed. After serving their sentences, they continued to press the appeal in the Federal Court.

They wanted to know whether the constitutional right to profess a faith 'includes the right of a Muslim, who has attained the age of maturity, to renounce Islam', said Mr Ang and added: 'The Federal Court today did not view these issues as being relevant.'
A Jew who wishes to leave Judaism is free so do so, likewise a Christian and Christianity. However, abjuring Islam, that political ideology, is no easy matter. Some lose their lives doing it; many are still in hiding, knowing that they will be killed if their whereabouts are known. Many remain Islamic in name only, having abjured Islam and converted to Christianity. However, like Naaman in Syria of old, because of their circumstances, they still enter the halls of false worship while their hearts belong to Christ.

Were it not for the threat of honor killings and legal actions like this one, how many Muslims would remain Muslim? I'd bet that many would be rushing to Christianity so they could stand fast in the liberty wherein Christ has made them free.

A man will remain in bondage subject to fear only so long. One day, like these Malaysians, he will rise up and declare that he is free in Christ.


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